Lewis Hamilton vrooms to pole at British GP
The Briton initially didn't seem like he could go faster as drivers embarked on their final fliers but remarkably managed to pull time out of the bag through the fast, twisting middle sector
Lewis Hamilton couldn't hold back the tears after pulling out an extra-special lap to seize pole position for his home British Grand Prix. The 33-year-old squeezed a scorching one minute 25.892 second lap in the Silverstone sunshine from his Mercedes in the dying seconds of qualifying, which was only just enough to beat Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel to the top spot by 0.044 seconds. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari but was also only a mere 0.098 seconds adrift of Hamilton's benchmark in a hard-fought battle for pole. "Oh man, I gave it everything I could," Hamilton, visibly shaking with adrenaline and emotion, said right after stepping out of his car as watching fans sent up a cheer.
"The Ferraris pulled something out when we got to Q3 and I was just praying I could do it for you guys. "I'm so grateful for the support because without you guys, I wouldn't be able to do it," he added. Yesterday's pole extends the Briton's record haul of career poles to 76. It was also his sixth overall at Silverstone, four of which he has scored in the last four years alone.
But it wasn't quite the dominant display that might have been expected from Hamilton, who trails Vettel by one-point in the overall standings, and is chasing a record fifth win in a row and sixth overall at Silverstone today. Ferrari were hot on the heels of Mercedes, whose own unbeaten run at the British Grand Prix stretches back to 2013. Vettel held provisional pole after the first runs in the final pole-position shootout phase of qualifying having bettered the benchmark laid down by Hamilton, who was the first driver to breach the one minute 26 second mark.
The Briton initially didn't seem like he could go faster as drivers embarked on their final fliers but remarkably managed to pull time out of the bag through the fast, twisting middle sector. Vettel and Raikkonen both also went faster than had earlier but not enough to shatter Hamilton's benchmark. "It was very close," said Vettel, who was nursing a sore neck.
"The last lap I was very happy with it but I seemed to lose a lot of time in the straights. "Happy with second. I feel theres a good chance for tomorrow," added the 31-year-old, who is hoping to hand Ferrari their first British win since 2011 and stretch his championship advantage. Valtteri Bottas finished fourth in the sister Mercedes, 0.325 seconds off his team-mate's pace. Max Verstappen, winner at the last race in Austria, was fifth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were seventh and eighth respectively for American outfit Haas ahead of Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc. Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten for Force India.
Hartley unhurt after high speed crash
Brendon Hartley escaped unhurt when he crashed at high speed in Saturday's final practice for the British Grand Prix. The New Zealander's Toro Rosso car suffered a front suspension and steering failure at the end of Wellington Straight 14 minutes into the one hour session.
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